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Unclebuck
05-05-2004, 09:26 AM
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/basketball/8590734.htm


NEXT SERIES


Wait is over for Pacers

After quickly eliminating the Celtics in the opening round, the Pacers have been playing the waiting game as the Hornets-Heat went to seven games.

BY JEREMY FOWLER

jfowler@herald.com


Imagine what you would do with 11 days off. That's how long the Indiana Pacers will have waited for their second-round opponent when Thursday's series against the Miami Heat begins.

While the Heat grinded its way through a 17-day series with New Orleans, the Pacers were patiently waiting after eliminating the Celtics in four games in their first-round series.

''The Pacers have had so long, they've been able to prepare for both teams,'' Heat guard Rafer Alston said after the Heat eliminated the Hornets 85-77 Tuesday night. ``They've had forever waiting for one of us to win. I hope they stayed on top of their game and stayed in great shape.''

If the Heat meets the same Pacers team that easily swept the Celtics 4-0, it will have a real test of grit Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Forget the all-out brawl with the Hornets. This is the Eastern Conference's best, the team that finished 61-21 in the regular season with three victories against the Heat.

''They don't have any weaknesses,'' Heat forward Lamar Odom said. ``Everybody on that team can play.''

Hornets guard Baron Davis, however, speaks highly about Miami.

''If I was Indiana, I'd be a little nervous,'' the all-star guard said. ``They're a dangerous team.''

No one is doubting the Heat's second-round task is exhaustive, considering what the team has been through with the Hornets and having to open the next series so quickly.

After their convincing Game 7 win and surge of momentum, maybe the grueling series will be a blessing in disguise.

''I think it's better for us,'' Heat forward Udonis Haslem said. ``We don't need to be relaxing. We need to keep staying afloat.''

Besides, as Brian Grant pointed out, a long rest between series can be overrated.

''It didn't work for New Jersey,'' said Grant of the Nets, who lost miserably Monday night to the Pistons after sweeping the Knicks in the first round.

The Pacers dominated the Heat on Jan. 5, winning 87-65 in Miami, and won by six and seven points in subsequent games in Indiana.

Grant said he knows all about the challenges this series provides.

''For us, it's a shot to turn around and get a win in game one,'' Grant said. ``So we just have to use our momentum.''

Unclebuck
05-05-2004, 09:29 AM
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/content/auto/epaper/editions/wednesday/sports_0489466211a720ad0090.html



Grant's reward: Guarding Pacers' O'Neal

By Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 2004



MIAMI -- Brian Grant remembers coddling the shy 20-year-old with enormous talent and no experience in Portland

He told Jermaine O'Neal to be patient, that his time will come, if not with the Portland Trail Blazers, with some other team.

When Grant walks onto the court at Conseco Fieldhouse on Thursday, he will be face-to-face with his protégé, who has grown from that raw first-round pick out of high school in 1996 to a top-three finish in the most recent MVP voting. The Heat and Pacers will meet in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals following Miami's 85-77 victory against the Hornets on Tuesday.

"When we were in Portland, he impressed me a lot,'' said Grant, who joined the Trail Blazers in O'Neal's second year. "We had so much talent on that team he didn't have a chance to play. But I knew once he got somewhere and somebody gave him some minutes, he was going to be a great player."


O'Neal averaged 22.3 points and 12.7 rebounds against the Heat this season. Grant's game plan against O'Neal will be similar to what he did to the Hornets' big men while helping the Heat escape the first-round series. Grant and the rest of the Heat's front line turned the game into a track meet, exhausting Jamaal Magloire and P.J. Brown.

Grant had his most productive game of the series, scoring 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds.

"Brian's a warrior. He waited for this challenge all season long,'' guard Rafer Alston said.

On the day before Game 7, Grant grew weary of hearing about how Magloire and Brown controlled the Heat's frontcourt in Game 6. The Hornets' two big men combined for 30 points and made 13-of-24 shots. The Heat knew they were not going to win a slugfest against the more powerful Hornets. So the best way to combat that size was with its speed.

"Our strategy was just keep pushing it at them any way, shape or form,'' Grant said. "For me, when you me to push it at somebody, that's telling me to just run.

"Even if I didn't get the ball, I'd make their center chase me and kind of get him tired a little bit.''

Magloire and Brown combined for just seven field goals Tuesday, two in the fourth quarter when Magloire played just four minutes.

Grant now has to muster up the energy to start the conference semifinals less than 48 hours after winning his first playoff series as a member of the Heat. O'Neal and the top-seeded Pacers will have the luxury of 11 days rest. But will it really be a luxury?

"(A long layoff) didn't benefit New Jersey, (but) we can't assume they're going to be rusty,'' Grant said. "They'll probably be champing at the bit waiting to get on the court and play.''

Bench marks: The Heat finally got bench production out of Alston, who had 11 points and seven rebounds. Alston entered Game 7 averaging 6.8 points and shooting slightly better than 30 percent.

"I'm still missing good shots. I'm still trying to find my rhythm,'' said Alston, who was 3-of-10 from the floor. "I just went out there playing with energy, trying to find the rhythm that way. I went after rebounds, I went after loose balls... just try to keep it going so the energy level doesn't drop.''

Noteworthy: Heat coach Stan Van Gundy becomes the fourth rookie coach to win a Game 7, joining Joe Mullaney (Lakers, 1970), Jerry West (Lakers, 1977) and Paul Westphal (Phoenix, 1993).

Unclebuck
05-05-2004, 09:31 AM
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-pacers05may05,0,6058073.story?coll=sfla-sports-front


Rested Pacers champing at the bit

By Harvey Fialkov
Staff Writer
Posted May 5 2004

MIAMI -- Finally, the vacationing Pacers can stop pacing. The Heat is coming.

After an 11-day layoff between their first-round sweep of the Boston Celtics -- matching the longest break in NBA history -- the Pacers can stop hitting each other in practice in an unscheduled training camp and prepare for the underdog Heat for Game 1 Thursday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.











"It's a little difficult. I'm going insane," said backup Pacers center Scot Pollard. "We're knitting our own uniform."

While the Pacers rested all their aches and pains, the Heat survived a rugged seven-game series with the Hornets.

NBA players are creatures of habit and are used to playing at least three times a week -- until these dragged-out made-for-TV playoffs.

That brings up the eternal playoff question: Which team has the advantage? The rested, healthier team or the exhausted, sharper one?

"The longer our next series goes, we're going to have fresher bodies than [Miami]," Pacers guard Reggie Miller said. "Come Game 3 or 4 or 5 of ours, we'll be much fresher than they will."

Pacers All-Star center Jermaine O'Neal, who finished third in the MVP vote and dominated the Heat this season, was considering working at youth basketball camps in between naps, miniature golf and bowling dates with his fiancée and daughter.

"I don't want to lose the emotion on this team," said O'Neal, who averaged 22.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks against the Heat. "Right now we've got a swagger about ourselves, one through 15. ... If you take too much time, sometimes you lose your edge."

That's the fourth-seeded Heat's hope against the top-seeded Pacers, who swept the season series 3-0, including both meetings in Indianapolis, where the Heat is 5-25.

"We've played them close," Heat guard Eddie Jones said. "It's going to take that kind of effort. ... I don't believe there's an edge. I'm just happy to be in the second round. It's been a long ride for me, and this is a dream come true."

This marks the first postseason meeting between the Pacers and Heat. From 1998-2000, the Knicks kept standing in the way of a Pacers-Heat matchup.

"Miami's young. A lot of their first-year guys are doing well in the playoffs. Obviously, we had more success against Miami. Obviously, you might say we'd rather play Miami, but it's the playoffs and anything can happen," Pacers guard Kenny Anderson said.

The forced layoff allowed Pacers All-Star forward Ron Artest, the Defensive Player of the Year, time to heal his surgically repaired left thumb.

"Nobody's a machine," said Artest, who held Celtics star Paul Pierce to 20.8 points on 34.2 percent shooting, while the so-called defensive specialist scored 20.3 points in the first round series that ended April 25.

By not finishing the job Sunday, the Heat gained a slight edge in that the Pacers had only one day to prepare for a specific opponent -- and that the Hornets and Heat play two diametrically opposite styles of offense.

The only other team to have 11 days off between a series was the 1982 Lakers, who beat the 76ers in Philadelphia in Game 1 of the Finals and went on to win the title in six games.

Last year the Nets had 10 days off between the conference finals and NBA Finals, and got crushed 101-89 by the Spurs in Game 1 on their way to losing in six games.

BillS
05-05-2004, 09:36 AM
"grinded"? That are some really badly copy editing, hoss. :laugh:

DisplacedKnick
05-05-2004, 10:07 AM
"grinded"? That are some really badly copy editing, hoss. :laugh:

Beat me to it - first thing I saw was the "grinded out" statement. Is grinded even a word?

Maybe the writer's a Kentucky or West VA transplant.

Next time I'm buying coffee I think I'll ask for the "grinded French Vanilla."

BillS
05-05-2004, 11:17 AM
"grinded"? That are some really badly copy editing, hoss. :laugh:

Beat me to it - first thing I saw was the "grinded out" statement. Is grinded even a word?

Maybe the writer's a Kentucky or West VA transplant.

Next time I'm buying coffee I think I'll ask for the "grinded French Vanilla."

1 entry found for grinded.

grinded

\Grind"ed\, obs. p. p. of Grind. Ground. --Sir W. Scott.

:plot:

Ahh. I maughn nae be sae fashed, then.

Shade
05-05-2004, 11:20 AM
"grinded"? That are some really badly copy editing, hoss. :laugh:

"That are?" :P :rotflmao:

BillS
05-05-2004, 11:24 AM
"grinded"? That are some really badly copy editing, hoss. :laugh:

"That are?" :P :rotflmao:

Oh, look - Shade got the joke :applaud:

Hicks
05-05-2004, 11:46 AM
They're talking about making us tired by running everybody around a lot.

First of all, managing to run a lot is by no means guaranteed on us.

And second, even if they do manage to run, we have 5 other people we can play to keep our legs collectively fresh, so that's not gonna work. We have more people to go to if our bigs get tired than New Orleans did.

If Foster and JO are really sucking wind, give them 5+ minutes off with Al and Pollard. Or whoever, but the point remains is one of our guys gets really winded, we have someone to give him some rest without losing a ton.

Southside_Pacer
05-05-2004, 03:02 PM
Until the Heat prove they can win on the road on a consistant basis, they're not going to fair very well.

We've proved we can win on the road however. So their home court winning streak doesn't worry me.

Ragnar
05-05-2004, 03:19 PM
Their home court win streak just means we have not played them at Miami in a while. :P

Unclebuck
05-05-2004, 04:00 PM
No one asked, but here are who the heat have beaten at home to give them their winning streak.

In reverse order.

4 games with Hornets

Nets
Cavs
Celts
Bulls
Mavs
Sixers
Hornets
Nets
Sonics
Magic
Kings
Bucks.


There last home court loss was vs Raptors.

able
05-05-2004, 06:05 PM
No one asked, but here are who the heat have beaten at home to give them their winning streak.

In reverse order.

4 games with Hornets

Nets
Cavs
Celts
Bulls
Mavs
Sixers
Hornets
Nets
Sonics
Magic
Kings
Bucks.


There last home court loss was vs Raptors.

And their next will be against the Pacers.

Bucks, Mavs, Kings, those impress me, Nets were without Martin & Kidd, so that means very little, and I see none of the other around in the playoffs :D

Suaveness
05-05-2004, 06:16 PM
No one asked, but here are who the heat have beaten at home to give them their winning streak.

In reverse order.

4 games with Hornets

Nets
Cavs
Celts
Bulls
Mavs
Sixers
Hornets
Nets
Sonics
Magic
Kings
Bucks.


There last home court loss was vs Raptors.

And their next will be against the Pacers.

Bucks, Mavs, Kings, those impress me, Nets were without Martin & Kidd, so that means very little, and I see none of the other around in the playoffs :D


Also, the Kings one was when they were playing like crap, I believe.